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Old 27th August 2011, 13:54   #1
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Arrow Honda City - Live your dream

Fellow Bhpians,

As a child, my father used to always tell me, “Never be afraid of the vacuum between reality and your dreams. If you can dream it, you have already crossed the bridge”. Dreams kept changing as the child turned into an adult but one dream remained unfulfilled since my adolescent days. That dream thanks to the almighty and my well-wishers turned into reality on Sept 1st 2011.

Honda City - Live your dream-img00007201108261239.jpg

Honda City - Live your dream-img00008201108261240.jpg

Honda City - Live your dream-img00009201108261240.jpg

Honda City - Live your dream-img00010201108261240.jpg

This my friends is the narration of the dream that I nutured for long.

Just how the bridge was bridged.

“Someday, I thought to myself, I shall be behind the iVTEC zipping through the highways bidding adieu to all care & worries that binds the mortal. Someday I promised myself” I’ve been fortunate enough to have had romantic involvement with cars, starting from the very first Rolls-Royce Phantom II (scaled ) slowly graduating to the Beatle and then the Corolla. Yet none of them could hit the right chord to entice me. A chance visit to Thailand in 2008 is where I met my lady in red. I’m not skilled enough to reproduce the state of my mind when I accosted her. There was my fascination blooming into desire as she stood like a sculpture on a dais, with a long line of people waiting their turn to sit in it, hold the steering wheel and dream. I knew that I had to have it, that this was MY car.

They say Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. The financial crises of 2008 whisked away my lady in red leaving me pangs of grief and a job that now paid peanuts. Picking up the pieces, I crawled along with life never once allowing my lady to be out of sight, albeit in dreams.

Days tuned in weeks, weeks into months and months rolled into years. But in all the anguish, my old and faithful Indica gave me enough opportunities to smile even while I red-lined her in my many highway sojourns. She wasn’t classy but was a work-horse, didn’t raise many an eyebrow but was an unsung hero (ine) wasn’t contemporarily dressed but never was she a bumpkin. She served me well all her life and it was time we gave her a much deserved retirement. And thus began the final conquest of my dreams.

Alternate Dreams?

“Why do you want to pay Rs. 10 lakhs for a car which will transport you from point A to point B when Rs 5 lakhs can do the job? And that too a petrol car?” The vacuum between reality and dream just seemed to get wider when I failed to answer the question posed by my wife. Economics is a subject that does not greatly respect one's wishes. Not wanting to be left with a feeling akin to South African cricket team after an ICC tournament, I decided it was now or never. Quite a few behind the curtain arguments, encashing previously held brownie points and many “I-owe-you” notes later the finance ministry passed the bill. I almost sang “O Mitwa” from Lagaan to myself.

The financial analyst in me unfortunately woke up at the wrong time and held a pragmatic mirror at my face. The “H” dream can also mean the “Hyundai. “Why not a Vento?” interrupted my wife. I realized later that I was thinking aloud. Not wanting to evoke any ire from fin min, I proposed that we look up other options.

The main source was of course Team-BHP. Our criterion was a rev-happy engine and a hassle free ownership above everything else. Comfortable ride, space for weekend luggage, good service network was listed down in “wants”. Auto climate control, Electric OVRMs wasn’t going to be deal breakers for me.

What we TD
Toyota Altis

Likes - Torquey engine, Ride Quality, Oodles of space
Dislikes – Off Budget, Sedate looks, Can’t fit it in parking space

Have driven a Corolla many times, the new Altis seemed to be a bigger body on the same 1.8L engine that did duty in the old one. Urban drivability is simply fantastic as the torque spreads leads to least gear changes while driving in stop-go city traffic. The ride quality is excellent as it devours craters with ease and the high GC helps keep road indentations at bay. The big size though makes driving and parking that much more difficult.

Verdict – Close contender
Toyota Etios

Likes - Torquey engine with excellent gear shifts, Huge Boot,
Dislikes – Interior fit & finish, Cheap Plastics, Centre display

A nice torquey engine with short gearing makes both city and highway driving a pleasure. The flat-out performance on a rev-happy engine with a light steering almost clinched the deal for us. But the cost cutting initiatives, the Loganistic derriere and smiley front couple with the eye-sore centre display meant that the deal went kaput.

Verdict - Skip

Volkswagen Vento

Likes – Great styling, perfect suspension
Dislikes –Tall suspension channel at the rear, poor petrol engine, steering mounted audio

Solid German engineered car build like a tank. Sadly though, the petrol engine is sub-par. Throttle response is poor at lower rpms and acceleration is not linear. Need to really push the pedal to get in a grunt from the engine. Engine noise is fairly audible above 3000 rpm. Overtaking wasn’t very smooth requiring frequent downshifts. The diesel unit was far better performer.

Verdict – We never wanted the Diesel.

Hyundai Fluidic Verna

Likes – Great styling, Large equipment list,
Dislikes –“Rocky boat” suspension, Hide speed ride quality

A great styled car which money can buy under 10L. With an exhaustive equipment list we nearly plonked in the deposit, until we TD the car on the sea-link. For starters the car is nimble footed for handling city traffic with its easy to drive steering, responsive petrol engine and a soft suspension. But the same turns into a lame duck at high speeds i.e. 130+ (yes I did manage to get over 130 on the link) you feel you are riding a boat on rocky seas. The coarse engine noise at high rpm makes nervous tingle. All in all the car is great for city drives but then we don’t need a car for city drives do we?

Verdict - Skip

New Ford Fiesta

Likes – Contemporary styling, Great Handling
Dislikes – Rear/Front world apart, Poor console display, Rear seats uncomfortable

Not quite like its older cousin, the NFS just about manages to stand apart. Nice torquey engine, smooth gear shifts (though frequent) and aptly tuned suspension made us give it a second thought. The abysmal quality of plastics on the doors knobs and centre control and the benign rear end just stopped us from taking this further. I’ still prefer the Fiesta Classic to this.

Verdict - Skip

Honda City

Have driven this one many times before (friend’s car) on both long highway drives and bumper-to-bumper traffic. The smooth iVTEC makes driving absolutely trouble free. Power delivery is linear and it never lets you down for want of more. The steering is light which makes pottering about the town very easy. The ride quality is mixed and you do feel bumps and undulations but I’m not looking for a soft suspension set up either. GC has been a mixed bag. It does scrape a few bumps but if you go through at dead slow speed its clears comfortably. Certainly not a deal breaker for me. Interiors are roomy and spacious but equipment list is shallow and the plasticky switches are from the era of Videocon washing machines.
What we didn’t consider
Anything from the Maruti or Tata stable.
Any hatchbacks
Any pre-worshipped cars
Final Verdict

Honda City (ain’t I a devil). Altis lost out on account of price. (I didn’t dare ask for budget revision)

Dealership & Delivery Experience

Initially went to Linkway Honda for TD. The sales guy seemed knowledgeable and curious and promptly called for the TD vehicle. The TD went well but not long enough to test the car thoroughly. He agreed to send over the vehicle at my residence following week along with the updated price list and accessory list. Next week arrived quickly and so did the series of phone calls. Not quite as expected, I was the one making calls for the TD and the much promised accessory list. Neither arrived. Perhaps I judged the book by its cover. So out went Linkway Honda.

Apex Honda was next. I was sceptical with the prompt & professional service offered by the sales rep. A prompt test-drive followed and then the negotiations began. Here is where I’d like to thank alam, mdsaab,charthom, remingtonsteele & others who with their valuable feedback helped me strike out a neat bargain. All done and dusted then, we just wanted to get the TD car home to see if I can slot it in my parking bay. This request was promptly handled the very next day we had zeroed in our car – finally!!!

We booked the Bold Beige Metallic V-MT on 12th Aug 2011 and agreed for 1st Sep 2011 delivery date. My request for a PDI was met with a surprised expression which made my sceptical instincts doubt the dealer again. I was very adamant No PDI at stockyard = No buying from dealer. The sales rep quickly understood my point and promised to come back with a solution the next day. Things remained stalemate for next few days owing to the independence-day weekend. The following working day the dealer called saying that management is averse to allowing customers at their stockyard. Without arguing, I conveyed my decision to cancel the booking. Cajoling, Reasoning and debating ensured over the next three days but I stuck to my stance. Finally over the weekend a senior manager called me up to reason and after an hour they had arrived at a compromise. The car will be brought into one of their showroom at Sion (Mumbai) from the stockyard outside Panvel with octroi paid by the dealer, where the PDI can be done after which they would arrange for the registration if it passed my PDI. I agreed on the condition that the car should not be driven more than 70 km. (distance between the stockyard the delivery showroom). The PDI was done on 27th Aug and the car passed. It took me a good 3 hours to do the PDI as I scrutinised it to the T.

Things yet again stalled as the RTO would be closed for 2 days on account of Ramzan & Ganesh Chaturti. I did not want to miss this auspicious occasion. The sales rep showed his true colors by not only getting the car accessorised for delivery but he delivered the car on a temporary registration so that I did not miss the date.

Delivery was smooth and after some paper work, I paid the balance amount following which the customary pooja was done. I drove it home on temp. registration and got my registration number on Saturday 3rd.

Honda City - Live your dream-take-me-home.jpg

Take me home

Honda City - Live your dream-ivtec.jpg

The i-VTEC waiting to unleash

Honda City - Live your dream-ivtec-2.jpg

You think I can compete with Salman?

Honda City - Live your dream-customary-pooja.jpg

Pooja (my wife) doing the Pooja

Honda City - Live your dream-ganpati-bappa-moriya.jpg

Ganpati Bappa Moriya

Honda City - Live your dream-pleasure.jpg

My pad

Honda City - Live your dream-parking-bay.jpg

Am I supposed to leave now?

Final landed cost

On-road price – Rs. 940,000

Free Accessories
  • Car mats
  • Body Cover
  • Cushions
  • Extended warranty
  • 3M under body coating
Paid Accessories

Elegance Kit
HID Xenon Lamps

Cash Discount – Rs. 80,000

Initial Experiences


Smooth curves all the way. Classy & contemporary the new design looks very stylish. It’s also got a more classic sedan look to it with none of that A-pillar triangular window stuff. A sports sedan to be exact. The fog lamps makes the otherwise plane jane front bumper look meaty. Chromes for the door handles are a nice touch giving an elegant look. Rejected the Exclusive variant as we felt it has too much chrome for the eyes. Loved the fuel lid opening much like the European cars. The doors are pretty solidly built and needs a good push to close (with an ear-pleasing metallic thud). We got the car with Michelin XM1s (I insisted on the same while booking).


With the new City, you no longer get that airy feeling that was present in the old City. This is the result of the seating position being much more sports car-like rather than a hatch. (or atleast they intended it to be so). We felt the ingress slightly lower than our comfort zone but it wasn’t a deal breaker.

Front seats are well built easily accommodating an XL person though a tall person may find it a bit odd. Being someone about 180cm tall, I was quite happy in the driver’s seat of the City. Everything was quite ergonomic, from steering position to seat height and position. The storage compartments are also easy to use and the little storage area under the driver side air con vent is quite usable for toll slips & loose change.

The instrument panel looks good and is easy to read, and there is a multi-information display that can show you various data such as fuel consumption in real time (Hint – Don’t look at it before your first service)

The center console is more of a beauty & beats pair. The upper part consisting of radio & air con switches look good and gels perfectly well with the interiors. I liked how Honda paid attention to how the radio display actually flipped down – it doesn’t just snap down like how a cheap metal pencil case made in China would open, if you get what I mean. Coming to the beast - bottom part, this is made up of washing machine switches and an air recycling lever that went out of fashion nearly a decade back.

Despite refinement in certain areas, Honda could really have done better with the choice of color for the whole center dash area. It seems poorly styled compared to the rest of the vehicle. Sure, it’s functional, but choices of material in certain areas especially the center dash makes it look rather toy-like. It’s got nothing to do with the quality of materials as I am sure they could have pulled this off within budget and not look cheap at the same time. A case of good intentions but misguided styling perhaps.

Driving Experience

The City handles crater ridden roads quite well, absorbing them to a level that is expected from a car like this, and striking a good balance between comfort and handling which is what a Honda buyer would expect. The steering and pedals are light and easy to use for a beginner driver. Acceleration is very linear and haven’t felt the need for more power yet. Gear shifts are slightly on the harder side but I like it that way (maybe my experience with a diesel hatch has got me habituated). Braking is smooth and very precise. A lot has been said about the ground clearance issue on various threads here but from my initial experience I can safely guide it over huge bumps (not compared to Bangalore mind you – they are the bump capital of India) without scraping the bottom even when the car is fully loaded. Visibility is great all-around and the combination of the electric power steering accuracy, weight and the lack of any excessive body roll the City is a car that’ll keep the driver happy. Being initial days, I’ve been disciplined so a thorough workout will remain due.

  • “Arrow shot” front end – Never felt so good to be struck by an arrow
  • Airy and comfortable cabin with dual tone interiors looks classy
  • Driving position is good though ingress is lower
  • Cavernous trunk
  • USB / AUX inputs
  • Acceleration & handling
  • Absence of Auto Climate Control
  • Internally retractable ORVM’s
  • No turning indicator on ORVM
  • Mis-styling & poor color choice on the center console
  • AC knobs are at least a decade old
  • Trunk lid is wafer thin
What next?
  • An extensive photo shoot (weather & work permitting)
  • ICE
Thank you all for reading my post. Comments / suggestions / feed back are most welcome. A big thanks to the mods for allowing me to narrate my dream – the one which I’m still in.

Last edited by arup.misra : 14th September 2011 at 10:04. Reason: Finale
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Old 27th August 2011, 16:01   #2
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Default re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congratulations Arup.
Your brandnew car looks fantabulous.
Eagerly waiting for surprises you are about to offer.
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Old 27th August 2011, 16:28   #3
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Default re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congratulations Arup. This is a novel way to start this kind of thread !.

All the best for your journey with the Honda City.
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Old 27th August 2011, 17:18   #4
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Default re: Honda City - Live your dream

Arup tomar baani!!

Congrats Mate!! Wow-very impressive opening. Like a great pick up line.

Can't wait to see the BB beauty in full glory.

Please unveil the secrets and surprises on 1st Sept only.Alternately courier me some sleeping pills-if the regulations permit.
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:01   #5
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Thread moved from the Assembly Line -> Initial ownership forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:35   #6
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congrats on your new purchase.
Are you considering installing Illuminated step garnish?
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:55   #7
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Originally Posted by Vtecguy7166 View Post
Congrats on your new purchase.
Are you considering installing Illuminated step garnish?
thanks vtecguy ! illuminated side step garnish already installed. it was part of elegance kit.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:10   #8
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congratulations on your city mate! Wish you many more happy miles with it

With that kind of parking space, one could park a Land Cruiser in there, let alone a Corolla
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:02   #9
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Welcome to the club dude. Glad you decided to go for ANHC and you bet (you already know) it will never let you down.

Nice and crisp write-up all the way thru your initial ownership review backed with good pics.

Hope to see the thread rolling friend.

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Old 15th September 2011, 15:08   #10
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congrats on your new car ! It seems to be raining City's on the forum since the price correction. That i-VTEC engine is a monster and feels a class above the rest of the competiton Keep revving it hard !
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Old 15th September 2011, 15:33   #11
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congrats Arup on your steed...Enjoy the i-vtec !!

Very well written ownership experience.

BTW, why did you not approach Solitaire Honda, during your purchase? They were more co-operative in providing the PDI done at their stockyard as well as during delivery.

So for Pre-Sales and delivery Solitaire was better, for service Hallmark is good.

P.S: Volkswagon (Nerul) still sending me the TD car for Vento Highline TDI 3 months and counting !!

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Old 15th September 2011, 15:41   #12
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Hey Congrats Arup. Welcome to the Bold Beige Club. :-) Very wise decision to upgrade the headlights to HID. I have done the same about a couple of months after taking delivery of my ANHC though. It is well worth it.

Nice pics and good report on your selection process. Any plans of going in for sunfilm?

Drive safe and enjoy the iVTEC.

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Old 15th September 2011, 16:10   #13
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congratulations on getting the new Honda City and Welcome to the Honda club.

Good to see so many fresh reviews of Honda City in recent times on team-bhp.

Please do keep the thread updated.

Wishing you happy and safe driving!
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:21   #14
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Smile Re: Honda City - Live your dream


Congratulations on the City.

Was waiting for your ownership thread since the time I congratulated in the Car Booking thread. The colour looks magnificent on the City. You have got a gem of a car, keep revving it. Need more pics of the interiors please.

Happy mile crunching, drive safely.
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Old 15th September 2011, 17:06   #15
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Default Re: Honda City - Live your dream

Congratulations Arup for the ANHC, surely the best in its class and will give you endless miles of driving pleasure.

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